Graphic Design Basics: Familiarize Yourself with These Graphic Design Tips and Tricks
Unlike what you may have expected, you don't need to attend expensive classes to learn the basics of graphic design.These programs often do boast a steep learning curve, but an eager learner should have no trouble following our fantastic tips and tricks. Check out our tutorials and start designing!
Graphic design isn't anything new, as it's been present since the dawn of mankind - painted cave walls, the dawn of the written word, and the design of logos and the Internet are all fine examples of graphic design throughout the ages. Graphic design can be functional, as demonstrated by brochures and advertisements; but it can also be artistic, the elaborate history of fonts from showcases this well. Often graphic design is both at the same time, combining form with function.
When you're first taking your steps into graphic design, you might find that you're not sure where to start. Chances are, you've got a lot of questions, like "What program should I use?" or "How much money should I spend?", as well as "How do I navigate this crazy program!" Fortunately, we've got a collection of fantastic tutorials that can take you through the five major graphic design programs, which are Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign. These fantastic programs are capable of creating amazing end products, and all you need is to learn the ropes to get started on your own projects!
In the world of graphics editing programs, Adobe Photoshop is king. Photoshop made its debut in 1990, and for the last two decades Photoshop has evolved to meet the needs of professionals and hobbyists alike. People now use Photoshop to create fantastic works of art, to create logos for their businesses, to improve and protect their photography, and much more. Photoshop boasts an impressive amount of features, from a vast library of tools, filters, and adjustments, to the ability to customize your experience with constantly growing community-made content. However, anyone who has just started out using Photoshop can attest, the program can be a bit tricky to get a hang of to start out with. Here you'll learn both basic and intermediate tricks and tips to begin mastering Photoshop, from basic program functions to avoiding potential problems, creating your own unique content, and more!
Corel Paint Shop Pro
Paint Shop Pro is a graphic editing program, much like Adobe Photoshop. Just like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro was released over two decades ago and has changed and evolved as people have come to expect a more robust experience to meet their growing needs. Targeted more toward the budget-minded and the home hobbyist, Paint Shop Pro is often touted as being more user-friendly with an easier learning curve and a significantly cheaper price tag. If you're just taking your first baby steps into graphics editing, we're boasting a collection of tutorials that will take you through functions such as creating custom user content, working with layers and transparency, and how to install custom content!
GIMP - or GNU Image Manipulation Program - is a graphic editing program created in order to offer a free (yes, free!) alternative to programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. This program is great for people who are feeling a bit tentative about paying for a program that they are curious about. GIMP is jam-packed with familiar features, allowing users to resize and edit images, to create fantastic artwork on the fly, and more. GIMP is also often compatible with a myriad of freely available Photoshop plugins, such as brushes, patterns, and shapes, allowing you to fully customize the programs to your needs. While it does boast a bit of a steep learning curve, it's a fantastic alternative. Check out these tutorials which will teach you how to install GIMP, how to use common tools including: text tools, layers, transparency, and even include helpful ideas such as fading and blending images.
Adobe Illustrator is a graphics editing program that was created in 1987 with the intention of creating vector-based images to allow for images that can be scaled indefinitely without loss of quality. The program has become synonymous with great web, font, logo, and graphic design. Like all vector editing and creating programs, the learning curve is a bit steep, especially for those who have experience in graphic editing programs like GIMP and Photoshop. Still, the quality of graphics created with Adobe Illustrator are well worth the time invested in learning. Give yourself a jump-start on learning with these fantastic tutorials that cover everything from understanding text, shape, and brush tools, to creating high-quality buttons for websites, and even the creation of brochures!
For those of you with practical or business design in mind, Adobe's InDesign is for you! This program boasts a variety of features geared toward people who are looking to create flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, books, and more! Not only does this program cover physical mediums, when used with Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite, you can quickly publish content for digital products, such as tablets and mobile phones. InDesign is the successor to PageMaker, which some of you may remember being discontinued due to losing clients to QuarkXPress. InDesign, however, offers the ability to work seamlessly with all of Adobe's creative suite and showcases a polished and enjoyable GUI to work with. Sure, the learning curve is a little steep as with all Adobe products, but these tutorials can help you get the hang of this desktop publishing program in no time flat! Learn how to set up documents, use the tool palette, override settings, and create simple graphics. You'll even get some great tips on using brochure tips and creating your very own magazines!
- All images were created by Amber Neely.
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